Last week, Empire left fans on edge when they watched Anika emerge back into the Lyon’s den via Rhonda. It seems these two are an unexpected friendship waiting to explode, but with the help of Lucious, they just just grow closer and closer.
If you remember correctly, Rhonda is temporarily housed at Anika’s Brooklyn lair, which is seemingly much nicer than it was at the beginning of the season. After what seems like a much-needed break, Andre stops by to speak with his wife about moving forward and getting back on the same team as Rhonda. But during their heart-to-heart sit down, they overhear Boo Boo Kitty fighting a bout of morning sickness in the bathroom. While they didn’t know that was the cause for the upchucking, Lucious’s former lover had no problem coming clean about the latest Lyon heir growing inside her stomach and revealing Hakeem to be the father of her baby.
To help bring some peace back to a family always at war, Rhonda and Andre took Anika to her former residence to tell the Lyon family the [good?] news! In true Cookie fashion, her reaction is to hit her youngest son upside the head and asks if he forgot how to use a condom. Moments later, and rightfully so, Cookie tells Lucious to ask Anika how much she wants so she can get on with her life, but–for the first time in Lyon history–money isn’t everything. Boo Boo Kitty says what she wants is “priceless.” And what she wants is simple: for her child to have a family.
Before anyone can truly respond, Jamal asks Anika if she’s even keeping the baby. Instead of answering the question for herself, Anika’s new BFF jumps in and tells her in-laws that she had to beg Lucious’s former lady love to keep to child. (But everyone knows that’s not true. Anika was going to keep the child, regardless).
After Anika comes clean about being pregnant with Hakeem’s baby, Lucious pays her a surprise visit. She asks him what took him so long to make his Brooklyn cameo, which makes Lucious rethink Anika’s position regarding wanting his family’s money. Just like Camila, Lucious offers his ex $10 million to bring the baby to term, turn it over to the family and disappear. But Anika’s smarter than one may think. She says she knows the current family heir is worth a lot more than $10 million, and money is not what she wants. She wants the family. But when it comes to his bloodline, Lucious will do anything to protect it from intruders. So for now, he lets her off with a warning. “I would be very careful. A lot of women don’t survive childbirth.”
Meanwhile, Hakeem, Andre and Cookie are gearing up for Empire’s big shareholders’ meeting. And rumor has it, the shareholders want Lucious back in power. Jamal warns his baby brother not to let their father take this moment away from him, but a warning will only go so far. Lucious Lyon wants his Empire back just as much as the shareholders want him there, so he hits his cub where it hurts. Not only does he have a team break into Empire to steal the Antony and Cleopatra merchandise, he also plants drugs in tour trucks and prevents equipment from showing up at venues for Tiana and Mirage-e-Trios’ tour. In short, he makes Keem look incompetent to a room of people relying on Empire’s public profits for money. The result: Hakeem is forced to share the throne with his father–but not for long. In fact, the day after the meeting, Empire’s board comes together and votes Hakeem out of power. At least it’s something to add to his resume, even if it did last for just a few months.
Lastly, Jamal showed fans he’s more like his father than he would like to believe. Cookie secures hip-hop’s hottest female rapper, Stacy Run Run, for Jamal’s Black and White album. Unfortunately, she has an exclusivity clause in her contract that keeps other female rappers from appearing on the same album. Thus, Freda’s got to go, again. Fortunately, Jamal comes to his senses before the credits roll.
And before Danny Strong and Lee Daniels could tell fans what to expect in next week’s episode, Thirsty is working around the clock to help Lucious keep one secret from his past under wraps. No one is quite sure what it is yet, but we do know it’s about his mother, Leah Mary Walker. Dead or alive? That is the question.